Medics brought baby back from the dead

Baby Eloise Wilmshurst with sister Abigail, parents Michael and Charlotte, ambulance technician Kate Ellis and emergency care assistant Mike Buckland

Baby Eloise Wilmshurst with sister Abigail, parents Michael and Charlotte, ambulance technician Kate Ellis and emergency care assistant Mike Buckland

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by

A FAMILY have thanked the medics who helped saved their young daughter’s life, and the “guardian angel” they believe was looking over her. Ten-month-old Eloise Wilmshurst was medically dead for a full four minutes after she suffered a heart attack following a fit, a rare occurrence in a child her age.

Her parents, Michael and Charlotte Wilmshurst, from Abingdon, feared the worse. It would have been a particularly cruel blow to lose Eloise as the family had lost Eloise’s great-grandfather Bryan Spencer days before. But thanks to the quick actions of ambulance crews and doctors at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital , the little girl survived.

Doctors said Eloise is the first baby to have been successfully resuscitated after being brought in by ambulance after a cardiac arrest in five years at the JR.

Her parents believe Mr Wilmshurst’s late father may have been watching over Eloise as she fought for her life. Two weeks after the incident, Eloise is now back home with her family, safe and well. The couple had found their otherwise healthy baby girl grey, shaking and with glazed eyes when they checked on her two hours after putting her to bed on August 18.

The little girl had just had febrile convulsions, a type of seizure that is common in children but which Eloise suffered an horrific reaction to.

Yesterday Mrs Wilmshurst said: “We’d had a bad week, as Michael had lost his grandpa on Tuesday. We’d come home from a family barbecue and Eloise seemed fine when we put her to bed around 8.30pm. But when we checked on her later she was completely grey and twitching. We thought she had swallowed something.”

A family friend called for an ambulance, but as ambulance technician Kate Ellis and her crewmate Mike Buckland took Eloise to the JR, she began to deteriorate.

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Mrs Wilmshurst said: “Just as we pulled in to the hospital, her heart stopped. I went numb. The paramedic picked her up and ran in with her.”

Waiting paediatric consultants battled to save the little girl’s life with CPR and after “the four worst minutes of her entire life”, Mrs Wilmhurst was told her little girl’s heart had started to beat again.

Medics later told the 29-year-old it was unheard of for a baby to have a heart attack after a febrile convulsion. Eloise was resuscitated in the same bed and cubicle Mr Spencer had been treated just days before, after suffering a heart attack which proved fatal.

Mrs Wilmshurst said: “We’re convinced that he was her guardian angel that night, along with the paramedics and doctors.”

Ms Ellis said: “Four cycles of CPR later, baby Eloise’s heart started to beat and she was back from the dead.”

Mrs Wilmshurst said: “We took Kate some flowers and bubbly, but how do you begin to say thank you to someone for saving your child’s life?”

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